In the Cat’s Ear Ch4 Ficbit – Slightly More Sense

Hei gave Huang a flat look. “Nerves aren’t rational.”

You ain’t rational. Which shoulda clued me in way back.” Turning his back on the card, Huang nodded at Ichigo. “You know what people say about the Gates, right? The facts, not the crazy cults and rumors. They showed up, a lot of people died, they’re walled off and we still don’t know what’s up with them. What you don’t know is what’s been happening to people all over the world ever since the Gates crashed in on us. It’s nasty.”

“And by nasty Huang means incredibly awkward to those affected and the indirect cause of multiple homicides otherwise,” Mao put in. “Not to mention almost the direct cause of mass murder two weeks ago… but you’d better have things in order, it will make slightly more sense.” He tilted his head at Huang, ears perked.

Huang jerked a thumb skyward. “See the stars up there? The Messier objects, you want to get technical. Well, each one a’ those is linked to somebody the Gates bit. Or at least half of ‘em,” he reflected, “never was sure if Dolls were tied to stars or not.”

“One was,” Hei said quietly, thinking of Canon, Klang, and Musik, and three falling stars. “But she was tied to a Contractor, too. So I don’t know.”

“The Gates bit them?” Ichigo gave Ishida a sharp look.

“I don’t currently have a better explanation,” the doctor noted. “The phenomena are associated. The details of how and why are sketchy.” He touched his glasses. “Most of those who’ve done actual research on affected people are either secret government agencies, or the underworld.”

“…I’m starting to not like this,” Ichigo muttered. “These… phenomena being Dolls, and Contractors? Weird names.”

“Smart kid,” Huang said dryly. “And, not so weird when you know.” He rolled his shoulders under his vest. “Now, some ways, Dolls are harder on them and easier on everybody else. The stuff that makes ‘em a person – feelings, personality, even knowing what you want for breakfast – it gets squashed. All a Doll’s left with is memories, buried down deep, and their specters.”

“Specters?” Ichigo frowned. “Not ghosts.”

“Remember the ghost lights on the power lines?” Ishida asked. “Those are specters sent out by Astronomics, working with Section Four. Looking for anyone who could see them.” He let out the slightest breath of relief. “Whatever you said to Chief Kirihara, you may have saved all of us considerable trouble with the authorities.”


20 thoughts on “In the Cat’s Ear Ch4 Ficbit – Slightly More Sense

  1. I don’t have much to say, except that this is one very nice chunk of several voices, all of which are right. Right in the sense of writing craft. Technically, in story, things are a bit more uncertain. At least in my mind.

    Thank you.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Hei gave Huang a flat look. “Nerves aren’t rational.”

    Sort of?

    One could argue that there is nothing irrational about being nervous about something or someone who could kill or harm you. Especially when you have no choice but put them in a position where they just might do that. Sharing details of yourself or your history to someone else is making yourself vulnerable. Information in the wrong hands can and does get people killed.

    Letting it completely dictated your behavior is irrational.

    Now Ichigo is a trustworthy kid but Hei and the rest haven’t known him all that long and they aren’t used to trusting other people.

    Plus didn’t Hei say he was in habit of NOT sharing anything about himself, his condition, or his power he didn’t absolutely have to because it wasn’t smart to give that information to the Syndicate and other Contractors?

    “…I’m starting to not like this,” Ichigo muttered.

    You are really not going to like the full explanation.

    Well, as much as they can give you. And what they have managed to figure out about the particulars.

    “Whatever you said to Chief Kirihara, you may have saved all of us considerable trouble with the authorities.”

    Yeah, won’t want someone leaping to the conclusion that half the town is Contractors or Dolls.

    That would get . . . messy. VERY messy.

    Also lucky that Chief Kirihara is open-minded enough to listen when someone is describing something outside of her personal experience. That she listened to what the evidence was telling her, not what she though it SHOULD say. Because someone else might have stubbornly insisted that it was Contractors, there is no such thing as ghosts and caused no end of problems in Karakura.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Super messy. Messier even. 🙂

      I found a solution to your DtB/SAO thing that works for my bunnies. We would normally expect the Yuuki family business not to involved in organized crime, and to be on guard enough to catch the other guy after Kayaba does human experimentation for a criminal organization, except in a totalitarian society. Totalitarian societies with complete economic control malfunction badly enough that organized crime is the only way to keep people alive. But why would a totalitarian society have to tolerate competing factions? The top of the hierarchy are extraterrestrials running satrapies, who can’t bring enough bureaucracy to control things directly, and so are instead running a bunch of weaker polities that can be set against each other. As for plot motivation, my bunnies think that Kojiro and Kayaba were possessed in addition to the other factors, and that there are serial possessing entities.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. It might be more accurate to say panic isn’t rational, and Hei’s currently fighting a bit of that.

      (We’ve seen Mao frizz. Contractors can and do panic.)

      Heh. No, Ichigo isn’t going to like the full explanation at all. Although given his past experience with Hollows and Arrancar, he has a lot less of the irrational fear response most people have to Contractors and Dolls.

      (He has, instead, a perfectly rational fear response, along the lines of “this is really happening to live people? Ah hell.”)

      Believe me, the Karakura PD is extremely worried about someone leaping to exactly that conclusion about innocent citizens. (And even some not-so-innocent ones.)

      Also lucky that Misaki trusts Kanami both personally and professionally. If Astronomics says BK-201 was the only Contractor who used his powers there, yet the evidence says something else did indeed use supernatural abilities there – then it can’t be a Contractor.

      She may or may not believe it’s an actual ghost, but evidence says, not a Contractor.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. (He has, instead, a perfectly rational fear response, along the lines of “this is really happening to live people? Ah hell.”)

        Ichigo might get the notion at some point that Yamamoto probably doesn’t need to know about the similiarity / connection between Contractors, Dolls, and Hollows, etc. Because yes, given that Contractors probably Hollow very quickly after death, so having the Shinigami aware of them might be good . . . . I just don’t think Yamamoto would have the best reaction or propose the best solution. His solution would probably be to massacre every Contractor and Doll.

        So it might be better if Yamamoto is not made aware of certain things. If we have to tell someone in the top brass of the Gotei 13, better be a Captain we can trust more.

        She may or may not believe it’s an actual ghost, but evidence says, not a Contractor.

        Yes, but people, even cops who are supposed to know better, don’t always heed things like what the evidence actually means. They are convinced they know what it must be and disregard anything that doesn’t fit with their theory.

        They try to train you NOT to do this but it doesn’t always work. And sometimes those kind of people are still put in charge.

        Misaki, thankfully, isn’t one of those people. Which is good for both Karakura and Section 4.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. >> Ichigo might get the notion at some point that Yamamoto probably doesn’t need to know about the similarity / connection between Contractors, Dolls, and Hollows, etc.

        Oh yeah, that reminds me. Is Old Man Genocide related to Isshin (and therefore Ichigo and the twins) in this crossover again?

        Because if so, once Ichigo finds out I won’t be able to stop laughing.

        >> I just don’t think Yamamoto would have the best reaction or propose the best solution. His solution would probably be to massacre every Contractor and Doll.

        Given that not only was that tried, but there is provably a method to do just that and it only comes at the cost of Japan…

        It’s possible Yamamoto would say “No. Too high a price, Soul Society is tied to Japan” …as long as that’s true. If other regions have different afterlives/societies they’re in charge of and Soul Society is just Japan then even Yamamoto is unlikely to throw it away. But if Soul Society extends beyond Japan… Then yeah. Yamamoto would probably just be like “eh, worth it.”

        Hell, if the explosion could be contained to just Tokyo, then he’d still probably be all “Ya gotta do what ya gotta do” about it – even if Soul Society were relient on just Japan to exist.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. In this AU I have no idea if Yamamoto’s related to the Shibas, and Ichigo wouldn’t care.

        Hmm. As for him massacring Contractors – no, I doubt it. After all, Hollows don’t alter the balance of life and death. And shinigami are supposed to avoid interfering with the living.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Ah, point. I figured -;since Shinigami we’re supposed to hunt Hollows and Contractors are so much more likely to Hollow after death – that he’d think of eliminating Contractors as part of the duty of the Shinigami.

        Liked by 2 people

      5. Thing is, it isn’t clear that killing all Contractors would prevent more from being formed.

        Shinigami also have the option of murdering Contractors from ambush, then immediately konsoing.

        This is one of those situations where one would want to consider using minimal force until the situation, and especially the mechanisms involved, is more clear.

        Just cause we may disagree with some of his canon decisions, doesn’t mean that he didn’t have reasons for them that seemed sound to him, and that he formed slowly, over time, in response to evidence.

        I don’t think your proposal is his most likely immediate course of action.

        “Paging Dr. Kurotsuchi. Dr. Kurotsuchi, to the white courtesy phone.”

        Liked by 3 people

  3. This is really the wrong town for the usual methods of identifying Contractors. Especially after the Town was Ground Zero for the spiritual equivalent of nuclear war. This is a town that’s been blasted by Ichigo for years, and then Ishida did his dumb teenager Hollow showdown, Byakura unleashed tons of spirit pressure to put Ichigo down, among many other things.

    Hey, just had a thought, maybe the reason Isshin took so long to recover was because he wasn’t living in a spiritually dense area. His spirit was having a hard time getting what it needed to recover. Like being magnesium deficient. The body burns magnesium first in times of stress and the symptoms for magnesium deficiency are identical to ADD/ADHD. Could be Isshin was being treated for the wrong thing.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Not to mention Itto Kaso may have volatilized Yamamoto’s left arm, and one could fanon all sorts of explanations for what breathing that in could have done to Karakurans.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. *Insert swearing at WP here*

      I think it’s up now?

      I have no idea what happened there; WP had the link on my main page, but when I’d click on it I’d get the “Not Found”. So I went into the post and hit Publish again, and now it seems to be up.

      Liked by 1 person

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